Crafting Smarter Interfaces with Anticipatory Design

Ido Lechner
Ido Lechner
Published in
8 min readJan 25, 2019

Decision fatigue paralyzes users and leads to poor decision-making… here’s how you avoid it.

Giving users explicit choice is generally well-intentioned, but there’s an art to balancing autonomy and clarity. In attempting to represent the full range of options available, designers often think they’re being thoughtful and transparent, when in reality most users neither care for nor want the ‘additional fluff.’

Decision fatigue occurs when users are presented with too much information, or too many options, all at once. It is a real and pervasive consequence of poor UX, and negatively impacts the usability of any product/service/experience.

Credit: Great Form: The UX of Decision Fatigue and Explicit Choice

Unfortunately, products/services/experiences with an overbearing amount of options are all too prevalent. Perhaps because we’re used to interacting with many of them on a day to day basis, we overlook the fact that they could still be made simpler and more efficient.

As UX designer Miklos Philips writes on TopTal,

“Today, we’re still looking at two-dimensional screens and mostly use keyboards and mice for input; devices designed for interaction methods that were optimized for computers, not humans… It’s as if we’re using interaction models from the Flintstones’ era in a Jetsons’ world; they still rely on a lot of interaction from users (input) to move to the next step and display useful information (output).”

Consider the Adobe Suite for instance, which, according to the Reddit community consensus, performs surprisingly poorly in usability for a set of design tools.

“What the hell do you do here?” asks a person new to this program

What if instead Photoshop was able to suggest the right tool, at the right time, based on…

Ido Lechner
Ido Lechner

Founder & CEO @ | B.S. Integrated Digital Media, NYU Tandon | M.S. Strategic Design & Management, Parsons